Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Week in Review from Republican Occupied America

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

In the week of Bush's greatest triumph so far, Bob Woodward focused the entire "mainstream media" on the lies Bush told about Iraq. Bush had very nearly consolidated dictatorial powers with the "Military Commission Act of 2006" —but had little time to savor his vainglory. Bush would get his way —stamping his feet and throwing a hissy fit! Sadly, however, the nation would still be without a grown up to run the country.

Before Bush could bask in the glow of absolute power, an old Watergate warrior —Bob Woodward —let loose a fusillade —the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune:

Woodward spent more than two years, interviewed more than 200 people including most of the top officials in the administration and came to a damning conclusion. He tells Mike Wallace that for the last three years the White house has not been honest with the American public. ...Woodward says, "I think probably the prominent, most prominent example is the level of violence."

Not just the growing sectarian violence — Sunnis against Shias that gets reported every day — but attacks on U.S., Iraqi and allied forces. Woodward says that’s the most important measure of violence in Iraq, and he unearthed a graph, classified secret, that shows those attacks have increased dramatically over the last three years.

"Getting to the point now where there are eight, 900 attacks a week," he says. "That’s more than 100 a day—that is four an hour. Attacking our forces."

CBS News

Meanwhile, the Bush "administration" is the only administration in some fifty years that's had a problem understanding what is meant by the language of the Geneva Convention, specifically, outrages to "human dignity". That Bush doesn't know what that phrase means says more about Bush than it says about billions who haven't had a problem with it. Indeed, the "Military Commission Act of 2006" is an outrage to standards of military conduct universally agreed upon by civilized peoples all over the world. Obviously —Bush's willful ignorance and his inability to experience empathy sets him apart from the rest of humankind.

The US attempt to re-interpret Geneva is, of course, unconstitutional under Article VI of the US Constitution which makes of our treaty obligations "supreme law" on the same level as the Constitution itself. Bush's fraudulent bill denies habeas corpus and it will most certainly be cited by Bush when he tries to absolve himself of crimes ex post facto. It also establishes a dangerous precedent! How many other tin horn, would be dictators are now encouraged to rewrite or even abrogate their own responsibilities. One of them will most certainly and conveniently fail to understand the meaning of the word "torture"; another may not be able to get his brain around the word "humane". Certainly —Bush's feeble mentality has failed us all. But the American electorate has no one to blame but itself. We knew from the git go that Bush did not do "nuance".

The good news is this: Geneva remains valid whatever Bush and the Congress have done. It must also be reiterated that all governments should be held to account; all governments must govern within the law if they should ever hope to impose the law. Bush does not get special treatment; Bush has no privilege but the privilege he merely imagines in his psychosis. Contrary to Bush's stated belief: God does not talk to mass murderers and torturers. As far as I am concerned, Geneva is still the law of the land:

The third Geneva Convention ("Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War") covers members of the armed forces who fall into enemy hands. They are in the power of the enemy State, not of the individuals or troops who have captured them

Prisoners of war MUST be:

  • Treated humanely with respect for their persons and their honour.
  • Enabled to inform their next of kin and the Central Prisoners of War Agency (ICRC, the International Red Cross) of their capture.
  • Allowed to correspond regularly with relatives and to receive relief parcels.
  • Allowed to keep their clothes, feeding utensils and personal effects.
  • Supplied with adequate food and clothing.
  • Provided with quarters not inferior to those of their captor's troops.
  • Given the medical care their state of health demands.
  • Paid for any work they do.
  • Repatriated if certified seriously ill or wounded, (but they must not resume active military duties afterwards) .
  • Quickly released and repatriated when hostilities cease.
Prisoners of war must NOT be:
  • Compelled to give any information other than their name, age, rank and service number.
  • Deprived of money or valuables without a receipt (and these must be returned at the time of release).
  • Given individual privileges other than for reasons of health, sex, age, military rank or professional qualifications.
  • Held in close confinement except for breaches of the law, although their liberty can be restricted for security reasons.
  • Compelled to do military work, nor work which is dangerous, unhealthy or degrading . The fourth Geneva Convention ("Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War") covers all individuals "who do not belong to the armed forces, take no part in the hostilities and find themselves in the hands of the Enemy or an Occupying Power".
Protected civilians MUST be:
  • Treated humanely at all times and protected against acts or threats of violence, insults and public curiosity.
  • Entitled to respect for their honour, family rights, religious convictions and practices, and their manners and customs.
  • Specially protected, for example in safety zones, if wounded, sick, old, children under 15, expectant mothers or mothers of children under 7.
  • Enabled to exchange family news of a personal kind.
  • Helped to secure news of family members dispersed by the conflict
  • Allowed to practise their religion with ministers of their own faith. Civilians who are interned have the same rights as prisoners of war. They may also ask to have their children interned with them, and wherever possible families should be housed together and provided with the facilities to continue normal family life. Wounded or sick civilians, civilian hospitals and staff, and hospital transport by land, sea or air must be specially respected and may be placed under protection of the red cross/crescent emblem. Protected civilians must NOT be:
  • Discriminated against because of race, religion or political opinion.
  • Forced to give information.
  • Used to shield military operations or make an area immune from military operations.
  • Punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed.
  • Women must not be indecently assaulted, raped, or forced into prostitution.
The entire world should ignore Bush's unlawful decree and the US Congress' complicity in it. In time, billions all over the world and millions inside Republican occupied America will render this unlawful and illegitimate administration moot by ignoring its every decree, it's every unfair law, it's every outrage to humanity.

In view of Woodward's revelations this weekend in his new book, the following excerpt from an email that I received this weekend takes on added significance. It was asked:


Why have we put up with him? Some theories: we lack the courage of the Danes who resisted the Nazi occupation of their country. We don't have the courage to wage a non-violent revolution as did Chileans who rid themselves of Bush's buddy —Pinochet! We no longer have a labor movement and probably never had a labor movement of the calibre of Lech Walesa's Solidarnosc. I've always thought it interesting that the only effective anti-communist movement in the 20th Century came from the left —labor. But, since Ronald Reagan, we are left without a labor movement and no middle class to speak of.

Our Democratic party is just as compromised as is the GOP; triangulation was all that was left the Democrats, a party reduced to technical debates and political maneuvers from within a single political wing: the right. So subversive was Ronald Reagan's bone-headed "revolution" that no one had yet figured out that the GOP had been allowed to get away with shifting the paradigm entirely.

The Democrats get their campaign monies from the same corporate well as the GOP —but they get less of it. Democrats may be less crooked but they are discounted. I will vote Democratic, of course. Anything is better than the GOP —which lacks even the Nazis' snappy logo. All their platitudes and rhetoric, however, are just as meaningless.

I am sick to death of tedious debates about the conduct of the war against the people of Iraq. The "conduct" of the war is not the issue. We should never have "conducted" the war in the first place. But having begun a bloody catastrophe, a war crime, an outrage that will ultimately cost more than World War II, there is no graceful, face saving turn around; there is no winning strategy; there is no graceful exit. The human tragedy will go on and on whether we stay or withdraw. Terrorism will have been made much, much worse now whether we stay or leave. For every victim of Bush's crime of mass murder and/or torture, there may be as many as 1,000 new terrorists. And all of his many victims have families with memories. The entire Middle East has been estranged by the cruelest, the most stupid, the most bone-headed decision ever made by an American "President". We may live it down —in a thousand years or so.

Support what looks like an emerging mass movement to impeach George Bush:

Washington Post: Thousands Nationwide Protest Bush


The Associated Press

Thursday, October 5, 2006; 11:00 PM

WASHINGTON -- Hundreds of people called the Bush administration's policies a crime and held up yellow police tape along a three-block stretch in front of the White House on Thursday as part of a nationwide day of protest against the president.

The 500 demonstrators were among many who gathered for similar events in more than 200 cities to protest Bush on issues ranging from global warming to the war in Iraq.

"We are turning the corner in bringing forward a mass movement of resistance to drive out the Bush regime," said organizer Travis Morales with the activist group World Can't Wait.

Some dressed in costume, including a hooded prisoner in an orange jumpsuit, a devilish rendition of President Bush and two grim reapers. One man wore a red cheerleader outfit with "Radical" emblazoned on the jersey.

Thousands of protesters clogged New York City's streets as they marched from the United Nations headquarters. Some people lay down in the middle of the street, while others carried signs saying "Expose 9/11" and "This war should be over." They also handed out fliers reading, "Drive out the Bush regime."

Lydia Sugarman, 82, of Manhattan, said she believed in the power of demonstrating.

"That's how we got our civil rights," she said. "If we didn't protest we wouldn't be Americans."

White House spokeswoman Nicole Guillemard defended the administration's Iraq policy.

"Our constitution guarantees the right to peacefully express one's views. The men and women in our military are fighting to bring the people of Iraq these same rights and freedoms," she said. "The president believes it is important to stay on the offense in Iraq."

In Seattle, a person carrying a rifle wrapped in a blanket was among five people arrested. The charges against the other people ranged from resisting arrest to assault.

"They're still investigating to determine what that person was doing with the rifle," said Seattle Police spokeswoman Debra Brown.

The march through Seattle's streets was peaceful as protesters chanted, waved signs and wore costumes mocking administration officials. One woman dressed as a pageant queen with a sash that read, "I Miss America."

It was one helluva week in GOP occupied America:

The Republicans' perfect storm?

One wonders at what point a political edifice starts irredeemably to crumble.

First this.

Then this.

Followed by this.

While Bush administration defenders say critics are drawing the wrong conclusions from the leaked parts of the NIE report, that Bob Woodward's book is full of "myths" (Condoleeza Rice "vehemently denied" Woodward's assertions that she ignored warnings of an impending attack on the U.S.) and that the Mark Foley affair is no worse than various Democratic congressional and presidential indiscretions, it is hard to see how things won't get worse before they get better (assuming they do) for Republicans, with mid-term elections just four weeks out.

Apart from the fallout from what some will construe as a GOP leadership coverup in the Mark Foley affair -- one Republican has already said House Speaker Dennis Hastert "lied" about what he knew and Connecticut Republican Chris Shays has said anyone in a leadership comes position who knew about it should step down -- along comes a new book about Colin Powell's experiences in the Bush administration which will only add to the "state of denial" flames.

Also lurking out there, in what appears to be an increasingly leak-happy atmosphere is another "damning" Iraq intelligence report, which, California Rep. Jane Harman, the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, wants released.

The Washington Post's excerpts of Bob Woodward's book can be found here.

Bob Woodward interviewed on "60 Minutes" .

The Post's Sunday magazine article on Colin Powell can be found here.

Emails reportedly between Rep. Mark Foley and a congressional page can be found here.

IMs (warning: explicit) reportedly between Rep. Foley and the congressional page can be found here.

Earlier reader comments on the Woodward book and the Foley affair can be found under the two previous Ross Report posts.

Bush et al. have committed war crimes

The recent debate over rules for coercive interrogation is being blatantly misrepresented by the Bush administration, and few media outlets are calling it on the most important issue. The president and his men have already violated the War Crimes Act of 1996; they are indictable right now.

There is no doubt that, at the very least, they've subjected detainees to outrages on personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment. Can there be any doubt that much greater crimes will be revealed years down the road, as has so often been the case in history?

The president wants to arrange things so that, when the full truth comes out, when the full extent of the violations of international law and common decency is in the open, he and his crew will be safe from prosecution.

Foley Built Career as Protector of Children

He Gained Attention by Fighting Sex Crimes

By R. Jeffrey Smith
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, October 1, 2006; Page A04

The Republican congressman who resigned Friday following the discovery of sexually explicit Internet messages he sent to teenage boys was a gregarious and charismatic lawmaker who built his political career in large measure on legislative proposals meant to halt the sexual predation of children and others.

Beginning with his 1993 sponsorship of a measure in the Florida state legislature to seize the cars of men who solicited prostitutes, former restaurant owner and real estate agent Mark Foley repeatedly attracted a flattering political spotlight by inveighing against those involved in sexual crimes and presenting himself as a protector of exploited children.

A well-liked member of the class of conservatives elected to Congress in 1994, Foley was until two days ago a deputy whip for the House Republicans and a co-chairman of the Congressional Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus. A Web site for the bipartisan group states that it was formed to "create a voice within Congress" on that issue and to operate a hotline for tips about "online child sexual exploitation" that could be passed to law enforcement agencies. ...

Resist U.S. War Crimes

by Jeremy Brecher

Most Americans hold these truths to be self-evident: Torture is wrong; attacking another country that hasn't attacked you is wrong; occupying another country with your army and imposing your will on its people is wrong. These policies are not only immoral. They are illegal.

Most Americans believe that even the highest government officials are bound by law. They reject Attorney General-designate Alberto Gonzales' view that the law is whatever the President says it is - that if the President says something isn't torture, then it's O.K. to order it.

Most Americans don't agree that their president can unilaterally annul treaties like the Geneva conventions. They don't accept, as Gonzales put it in a 2002 legal memo, that if the President simply declares there's a "new paradigm" he can thereby "render obsolete Geneva's strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners."

Aggression, military occupation, and torture were the war crimes, crimes against peace, and crimes against humanity for which the Axis leaders were prosecuted at the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials after World War II. The U.S. has supported similar charges against Slobodan Milosevic and Saddam Hussein.

But what about the U.S. attack on Iraq, which Kofi Annan has bluntly called "illegal"? What about the leveling of Fallujah and the targeting of hospitals and urban neighborhoods? What about torture at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo? If a single standard is applied, these too are crimes of war. And as the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal stated, "Anyone with knowledge of illegal activity and an opportunity to do something is a potential criminal under international law unless the person takes affirmative measures to prevent the commission of the crimes." How many Americans can honestly claim to know nothing about this "illegal activity"? It's reported in detail in the daily newspapers and shown in full color on the nightly news, from the phony reports of Iraq's "yellowcake" uranium to the shooting of ambulances to the horrors of Abu Ghraib.

In 1967, faced with evidence of the napalming of villages and massacring of civilians in Vietnam, a distinguished group of Americans signed a "Call to Resist Illegitimate Authority." They declared the Vietnam War illegal under U.S. and international law and pledged to support young people who were resisting the draft.

When the Johnson administration charged world famous pediatrician Dr. Benjamin Spock, Yale Chaplain William Sloan Coffin, and others with conspiracy to "aid, counsel, and abet" resistance to the draft, it identified the "Call" as their first overt act.

There's no draft yet, but there's plenty of resistance. The Pentagon acknowledges 5,500 desertions since the Iraq war began. Army Reserve and National Guard recruitment is plummeting. Many in the military are deciding not to reenlist. ...


Sebastien Parmentier said...

In In Bob Woodward devastating new book, “State of Denial”, Bob caught Bush insisting that he won’t withdraw troops, even “if Laura and Barney are the only ones who support me.”

This makes so much sense to me now, indeed it is all pretty clear, Bush won Florida in 2000 by only two precious votes: from his loyal wife Laura and his ever faithful Scottish terrier...

jae said...

All I know is after the Military Commission Act of 2006 passed with such flying colors, I sent incredulous emails to my Senators and poured myself a tall one.
Does it seem premature to be giving up all hope?

Sebastien Parmentier said...

Oh... I was just thinking... Bob Woodward's book is out. Still, Micheal Chertoff has not yet raised the threat level to Orange. (well, OK, he is probably trekking in the middle of the Grand Canyon, or catching Tunas in deep see for the week-end, where his cell phone can't be reached).

Unknown said...

No, now is NOT the time to give up! But now IS the time to give up thinking that Bush will ever change. It IS the time, rather, to BEGIN a non-violent revolution to change this nation —OR forever lose it to the forces of fascism or some other form of corporate socialism.

Jennie said...

Thanks, Len, for linking the story about the Danish Nazi resistance. I read beyond about the myth of the yellow star in Denmark, as well, which is a fascinating tale that, although King Christian X did not actually wear one along with the rest of the country's non-Jewish citizens, it tells of the strength of Denmark in such a dark time of history.

I also read about how Norway's citizens resisted the Nazis and a tradition that when the Norwegian King celebrated his birthday he would make a public appearance and the people would wear a flower in their lapel. Since the Nazis took over Norway, the King did not make his birthday appearance, but the people still turned out with flowers in their lapel (and apparently were sent to concentration camps).

Yellow has always been a color of hope, and maybe we all should show some type of solidarity with it. Maybe by tying a yellow ribbon 'round the old oak tree, or planting yellow flowers in our gardens. And when our country returns to normal, maybe we should consider changing the white in the red, white and blue, to yellow, to show that we are no longer an innocent country and to remind us that we will never again forgot to ignore the Constitution, but rather stand up for it and the foundation of our country.

Anonymous said...

Len, I will be the first to sign up for your ‘nonviolent revolution to change this nation.’ A review of my comments, and one article, on OpEdNews will see me trying to foment same through attempting to provoke outside the box thinking. We need to figure out exactly how this slide into dictatorship happened, to close every loophole that permitted it to happen, and to remove from office and try for treason every elected representative that did not prevent it from happening.

I am going to out on a limb with some really basic questions, (perhaps falsely) emboldened by the belief that the only stupid questions are the ones you don’t ask.

1. Is the Supreme Court ‘allowed’ to (s)elect a President? If the answer is no, everything this not-my-president and his criminal administration and Congress have done should be declared null and void since inception, and we should spend the rest of our lives apologizing and making amends to the whole world.

2. Are there not standards that govern the behavior of elected officials, that, if not adhered to, bring consequences? Specifically, if Congress en masse violates their oath of office by declining to uphold the Constitution, shouldn’t there be some mechanism for removing them from office (and PLEASE don’t tell me to vote. Violations of oaths of office MUST be met with a process similar to firing an employee who, for example, steals your money, but with worse consequences, as isn’t subverting the Constitution, and your incorporated international treaties, an act of treason? Or a recall provision like states have for their representatives.)

3. When clear crimes have been committed by the Executive, shouldn’t Congress be required to commence an impeachment investigation? Isn’t that part of the job description? And I am so done with ‘process’ as in a member must bring articles of impeachment to the floor. These criminals have made up their own processes for getting us into this dictatorship, it’s time for us to take off the gloves and THINK, and ORGANIZE, and then ACT. Maybe start with 'firing' these people who are refusing to do their jobs? They ARE the employees of the American people, are they not?

4. If Congress tries to make it legal to break laws and violate international treaties, shouldn’t it be prevented from doing so? What would that mechanism look like? I mean, AREN’T THERE ANY JOB REQUIREMENTS FOR THESE CRETINS?? That we, as their 'employers,' as citizens are REQUIRED to hold them to?

I’m hoping that these basic thoughts have some nugget of truth to them and that we take these ideas and build on them and run with them. We, the American people, are in grave danger if we don’t figure out something fast. Either all of us who dare to question The Decider will be renditioned to Halliburton detention centers in the middle of the night to be tortured, or the world will band together to wipe us off the map. We need to prove to the international community that the swaggering simian does NOT represent the majority of the American people.

And if I find that the majority DOES want what it’s getting, they can freaking have it. But I won’t go without a fight.

daveawayfromhome said...

Sue, I know you dont want to hear this, but "vote" is the answer. That, at the given times, and protesting the rest of the time. I'm sure that your state could vote to recall your congressman, but again that would take a vote, and probably an act of your state congress first, and that's ot going to happen without protesting, because only then will your state government know that your seriously pissed (after all, if you're out there, then you're missing TV).

Look around the world. Hungary is the latest example, people are pissed, and they get out in the streets; but we're not (except the Hispanic immigrants - look how that turned out). Is it any wonder that our Congress and President feel that they can act with impunity? What are we gonna do, miss Lost, or raise a ruckus?

As for a raised threat level? Well, things have got to stay calm in order for gas prices to stay low. Nothing will kill the Republicans like $3 gas before the election will (just as nothing has helped them as much as $2 gas before has). That's why you can probably count out an Iran invasion (or bombing) as an October surprise, unless it's on Halloween.

Unknown said...

Thoughtful comments, all!

Merely taking to the streets is not enough. A revolution is defined by the changes it brings. Whatever strategies we adopt, they must address the kinds of changes we wish to bring about. What kind of society do we want? If I were writing a manifesto, I would address the absurd and dangerous inequalities that are clearly traceable to "Reaganomics"; I would address the concentration of power in corporations, primarily because they are considered lately to be "persons"; I would want to re-affirm the separation of church and state and, perhaps, tax church income; I want put the ownership of the nations media back into the hands of the people primarily by repealing Ronald Reagan's give away of the people's airwaves to the big media corporations; I would want to re-instate a progressive and fair tax as opposed to the Reagan/Bush creation of a monied, ruling aristocracy that pays no tax at all.

The agenda, therefore, dictates the tactics. In the weeks ahead, I will try to outline some non-violent strategies that can bring economic pressure to bear on the un-elected and unaccountable corporate ruling class. Other strategies will target election fraud so that dissenting voices can make their preferences known at the polls. Consideration should be given to the creation of a new National Convention and its agenda.

In any revolution, certain milestones define the course of the movement. In more recent times, there is Ghandi's non-violent opposition in India, Lech Walsea in Poland, the ouster of Pinochet in Chile.

Several books may be helpful. One of them is "Rules for Radicals" by Saul Alinsky; "The Anatomy of Revolution" by Crane Brinton. I might have listed "Guerilla Warfare" by Che Guevara but Che did not limit himself to non-violent tactics. But in at least one important respect, however, Che was on precisely the same page as Thomas Jefferson. Both men supported violent revolution when the government rules in opposition to established law. Che's words seem to have presaged Bush precisely: "People must see clearly the futility of maintaining the fight for social goals within the framework of civil debate. When the forces of oppression come to maintain
themselves in power against established law, peace is considered already
broken." —Che Guevara, GUERILLA WARFARE, Chapter I: General Principles of Guerrilla Warfare

Indeed, Bush has broken the peace. He has broken the government's covenant with the people. He has literally waged war against the Constitution which clearly establishes the "people" as sovereign. Bush is at this very moment operating outside the law. By the logic of both Che and Jefferson, a violent revolution is justifiable even as we write.

But I am not interested in waging a half-assed revolution that is doomed to fail. It is only because I believe violent revolution to be counter-productive, strengthening Bush's hand, that I oppose it in this case. Bush would be empowered by any pretext to decree the Constitution out of existence, declare martial law, and, in various ways, crush a naive, armed insurrection. ONLY a non-violent revolution has any chance against a tyrant like Bush who will seize upon any pretext to kill and/or imprison his opposition in hideious FEMA concentration camps.

Alinsky wrote that the best tactics are ones that your "people" enjoy. I would add to that that the best tactics are the ones which work. A tactic that gets you and/or your "people" killed or kidnapped is not a good tactic unless you aim is to make of someone a martyr like Nelson Mandela. That may be fine at some point —but right now, I would prefer a strongly worded SCOTUS scolding of Bush and his criminal junta.

What do you do when you've won the revolution? You convene a new national convention. You UNDO everything that Bush has done! That's a start!

Unknown said...

By the way, I don't buy a recent trend (perhaps begun by Beard) that denies that the American revolution was a revolution. It was, some say, a mere war of independence. Not so. Any reading of Jefferson's Declaration disproves that theory. The Declaration is a revolutionary document and, because it was a revolutionary document, it had the effect of giving to the colonies a moral high ground that they would NEVER have had had they been soley interested in separation for commercial reasons. Jefferson, Madison, Paine, Henry, Mason, Franklin....all were revolutionaries and all would be supporting a revolut against our own King George Bush.

Anonymous said...

People are still too stunned at the extent of the assault on America, first by Al Quaeda on September 11th five years ago, and then every since September 12th, 2001. People are wholly ignorant of the legal ramifications of giving the Executive Power decree to determine what is, and what is not, torture. After the pictures of Abu Ghraib surfaced it reminded us how such actions, when sanctioned by allow, are likely to go awry from the very start. A "little torture" that is legal will lead to alot of torture that is not.

I'm not sure what has happened and what it will take to awaken a sleeping America to the legal assualt on Democracy currently being waged, and won, but the Bush regime. I wonder what clarion call is needed to wake up my brothers and sisters to this devestating threat from within.

What sickens me is the complicity with which our elected Republican officials act to this monstrous crime, the complete lack of cajones on the part of Democrats to effectively and decisively combat this asasault by the neoconservatives, and the American public's indifference to it.

If I am made optimistic by anything in that group it is the growing realization on the part of America to what is happening to it.

SadButTrue said...

This is a time to be beyond outrage, as I wrote on Thursday when this odious treachery was passed by the Senate, making the United States the equal of any third world dictatorship. The Military Commissions Act aka the torture bill aka the War Criminals' Protection Act is not just a break from the legal traditions of America and the British Common Law that preceded it. It is a break from reality, a mass hallucination, a national epidemic of psychosis. It cannot be allowed to stand in it's smallest clause. No word, no letter, no punctuation mark in this bill can be countenanced nor tolerated. Thus we arrive at a watershed moment in history not only for the US of A, but for the world.

Try at every opportunity to express your indignation, your revulsion of what has become of 'your' nation. You cannot take it back by silence. Fly Old Glory upside-down as a distress signal, and a rallying call to others. Let this act be the second Declaration of Independence, a break with the illegitimate government of George W. Bush. If you don't act, there will be hell to pay. That much is certain. If you act there may be hell to pay anyway, but at least the blood of innumerable unnamed victims of torture will not be on your hands.

People are still too stunned at the extent of the assault on America

It's all happening too fast. It is a psyops blitzkrieg. They hope that a large number of people will be silenced by fear, another large number by shock. Prove them wrong.

Jennie said...

We need to subversively unite, maybe with a symbol that seems innocent enough on the outside, but signifies that we are ready for change--revolution, if you will. I think we have been too silent individually. I don't know who said it, but "we need to hang together, lest we hang separately." We can do little to nothing without uniting.

One letter or email or phone call to your senator or representative does not do as much as a united letter from a respected group, and lobbying from a respected group. But first we must become a well organized, honorable and respectable group.

We need to subvertise the American public to the truth, and get them to jump on the bandwagon of truth. Maybe we should all wear a yellow rose on our lapel when we vote in November??

Anonymous said...

How about the "Wallet Revolution"? Vote with your pocket-book - cut off the life-blood ($$$) flow to the Corporations who are behind this maladministration. Buy locally grown food, or grow your own (it's not that difficult at all), learn basic canning in jars, buy Citgo for your energy needs, rediscover walking and use it where and whenever possible, etc. Starve the bastids!

Unknown said...

Money is the lifeblood of the right wing dictatorship. I support ALL strategies that will hit the crooked corporations where it will have the only effect they understand: the bottom line. These corporations support right wing politcians and bad GOP policies. I support boycotts, the "Wallet Revolution" and a web site called Buy Blue In the meantime, don't buy gasoline from the big American companies like Shell, Exxon-Mobil; buy from CITGO. Cut up your credit cards and don't buy on credit. If Skype works out it problems, fire your phone company.

daveawayfromhome said...

There are even simpler ways. Have you read about this guy? Or maybe this one. It's easy for a puffed-up security guard to harass one person, but suppose lots of people start showing up with these "subversive" messages, on all sorts of things ("impeach Bush" bumper sticker on carry-on bags? 4th amendment t-shirts?). Little things, but they add up if enough people do them.

Say, does the current state of the Bush Administration and it's various "anti-terror" policies make anyone else think of the Stanford Prison Experiment.

Anonymous said...

Slightly OT - seeing how the news media is currently focused on the Foley scandal, it would now appear that GOP stands for Gay Or Pedophile.... (please understand that I have nothing against homosexuals)

Jennie said...

I have just sent in my absentee ballot for the November elections today! I feel so good that I have completed my official civic duty, that I am looking for extra credit--LOL... So, if I do extra credit, can I get back some of the rights we have lost??

SadButTrue said...

Len: You have been SO kind to me since day one. May I impose on your hospitality just once more? I apologize for my blatant blogwhoring, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

On the eve of a critical day of protest called for by The World Can't Wait, I have posted my most important effort to date. I am calling on all my contacts in Greater Left Blogostan to help me promote this series of cross-country rallies against the oppressive Bush Regime. Please come to and read Democracy: Not a Spectator Sport. If and only if you feel it is worthy, write a short post in support of my rallying cry. IF NOT NOW, WHEN? IF NOT US, WHO?


"When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.
When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for the Jews,
I did not speak out;
I was not a Jew.
When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out." -- Pastor Martin Niemoller

"The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis." -- Dante Alighieri

Anonymous said...

It's the dawn before "Red Dawn" - the movie. I have a friend who is setting up a powerful radio broadcasting tower specifically to give us information should the day come when we need Radio Free America Redux.

Anonymous said...

the military commissions act is
one of the "programs" that the Cheney administration intends to rely on as a basis for disappearing dissenting American citizens who will be imprisoned in one of the many Helliburton concentration camps built for this purpose.

DIEBOLD (tm) will determine the coming election as it has in the last three national elections.

the sheeple will remain in their television-induced comas and no one in this country will ever again question how it happened in Nazi Germany.

Sebastien Parmentier said...

Pshhuuuuiii! Thank God this administration has not built a Bastille around DC - yet!

Unknown said...

All, I am not ignoring your posts. I have been extremely busy over the last several days but the "Cowboy" is still alive and well. A new article is in the works. The fight will not cease until the war criminals are brought to justice.

All the "tactics" mentioned should be employed...non violent resistance, sue the bastard, boycott the bastards, bombard them with emails and paper work, blitz the media....more to come, I promise.

Thanks for the link, Sad. Will check it out today.

Hillcountry, interesting idea about the radio tower. A friend of mine in Houston is operating a "radio station" via streaming audio on the internet. He's reaching a world wide audience. The consolidation of media in the hands of a small cabal of extremists partisans is one of major reasons we are in the fix we are in. We must take back the media. Soon —we will no longer have a "neutral" net.

Dante, it'll be interesting to see how the Bushies will put the kibosh on this case.

benmerc said...

Funny about the Woodward book...he had to write two books of bull shit before he got around to what everyone one else has been saying from the git-go. But I guess we will have to live with that. At least the MSM is allowing the spoon feeding of the new book.

I saw an interview with Woodward (it has been hard not to, but that’s a good sign this time around) he said that he could not get Bush to sit for him at this point in time. I guess someone tipped jr off, as he did not want to expose himself to any abusive questioning by Woody.

I don't know that I will buy the book, as I am sure it has lots of old news and I bet there is a heavy tinge of apologist in it some where, I ain't up for hearing any of that at this point. But if anyone knows different holler out.

Am waiting for the rest of the moral decline, finger pointing and obstructionism to present its self as we round the bend to D-day for these fools...It will be a show to watch, indeed. But at a steep price, many have paid for this folly with their lives. That is where the criminal part comes to bare witness, I just hope you are correct Len, I think we all will need to see some justice to get this country healed up again. I don't think this bunch will be as compliant as those from the Nixon era.

Sebastien Parmentier said...

Condi sent to fish out a coalition of the "willing". Bah... Five weeks is too short to launch another war anyway... Poor Karl.

Sebastien Parmentier said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sebastien Parmentier said...


"Funny about the Woodward book...he had to write two books of bull shit before he got around to what everyone one else has been saying from the git-go."

I respectfully disagree, Ben. If Bob was able to come up with such goodies, it was just because of its two previous obsequious books: This way, Mr Woodward got himself a free pass within the lion's den.

His spy job was just spectacular. The folks at the CIA and the NSA should take notice. In his latest book, Bob Woodward actually snitches events from the White House that have happened previously to the publishing of his second book.

Betraying the “fabfour” - Bush, Condi, Don and Dick - to this extend, that is not even close to be defined as flip-flopping.

Flip-flopping is more like... asking the head of Dennis Haster to satisfy the Christian coalition before november. ..

You may like what Bob wrote while disliking when he wrote it. It really doesn't matter anymore.

What matter is that Bob Woodward still came up with the biggest and the most frightening scoop of all, a historical event of a huge magnitude: that the most frightening political monster, the most criminal politician in American history since John Foster Dulles, Henri Kissinger himself, was not only creeping under the carpet of the Oval office all along, but that, still today, he is roaming around, as to put Karl Rove back to school, luring and calling this administration with the dark force and the evil voice of the Emperor Palpatine; whispering in Bush and Dick's ears his dark formula, like a creepy burp coming straight from hell, “Irann, Iiirannn, IIIIIiiiiiraaaannnn....”

Sebastien Parmentier said...


"And the kid should consider itself lucky it wasn’t funnelled into the Congressional Page selection process."

LOL!!! LOL!!!! It's time to turn (over) the page!

benmerc said...

That thought had passed my mind,but many of the "goodies" were all ready well pointed out and inked by folks like Mark C. Miller while Woodward was still constructing his first two writes. But if that was his intention for his purposes, his tactic did work on some level, that I could agree with.

Sebastien Parmentier said...

"[B]ut many of the "goodies" were all ready well pointed out and inked by folks like Mark C. Miller while Woodward was still constructing his first two writes."

That is why I am begging my local bookstore to hurry the hell up in carrying the damn thing, so I can get through it.

But, let me insist again, Benmarc: The fact that, perhaps, half of Woodward's “goodies” were already discussed, even in Clark's, book is truly not important. What sets “State of Denial” apart from all the previous books about the Bush administration's secrets and gossips is, indeed, the presence of Henri Kissinger.

I cannot insist more: The revelation that this sinister “phantom of the opera” was cast all along in the disastrous adventures of Bush II is historically huge – and I know Len would agree with me on this - ; not for the years past us, but, really, for the next couple of years to come; especially if the Democrats miss to obtain a senate majority in November; or, if the new Congress, lacking a strong leader – sorry Hillary – does not work in strikingly different ways in order to set them apart from the former Repug majority; and more especially, if the Democrat majority starts working in a stupid presidential campaign mode and does not come up with tangible results on the economy, the budget deficit, our chronic political corruption, and, of course, Iraq in 2008. Allow me to explain.

I just finished Thomas E. Ricks's "Fiasco" - A must read, of course -, where the author writes a beefy chapter about the first battle of Fallujah, circa Spring of 2003. After the horrendous job of borderline criminal Army's 4th infantry, the Marine Corps was called in (recall that the Corps was not part of the initial invasion), in order to repair the horrible damages done by Tommy Franks and Paul Bremer III in the relation between the American military and the Iraqi people.

The Bushies, so caught up on Machiavelli that they have never read nor heard of Carl von Clausewitz or Sun Tzu, have never taken to account the vital motto of any guerrilla type war: “[any invading armies] must win the people first”.

Lt General Mattis, a spectacled PhD in military history with a Pattonian attitude (“I feel sorry for the sons of bitches who do not have the privilege to fight on your side!”, he once told his troops), arrived in Iraq with a radical new plan: making up with the Iraqi people.

Before landing his troops on the Iraqi sands, Mattis put his soldiers into a tree weeks course on basic Arabic language, encouraged them to grow mustaches, forbid sunglasses, and landed hundreds of pages of war philosophies on the laps of the mere POW.

He even came up with the idea of keeping his troops in regular green uniform instead of the sand camouflage type, in order to send a message to Iraqis that the Corps was of a different type; that Marines were the “good guys” compared to the Army infantries that have previously patrolled aggressively the Iraqi street. This infuriated Army commanders, of course, who have not shied in naming Lt General Mattis with the most colorful bird's names.

But Mattis was definitely on the right path and was starting to get results, by, for instance, commanding his troops not to patrol the Sunni Triangle in the sole purpose of showing an arrogant military presence. He even dictated a whole new approach in house searching by commanding his troops to respect the Arab sense of “honor”. For example, he ordered his troop not to humiliate in any case any Arab in the front of his family.

For a few weeks, real progress were made. .. until the Bush administration came tossing a ugly wrench on the Corps's hard work:
In Fallujah, in Spring 2003, 4 corporate American executives got dragged out of their SUVs, had their sorry souls savagely lynched, dismembered and burned, to finally having their charred corpses hung on some bridge, while the crowed danced and chanted like in it was National Day...

As we all remember, the Bushies ordered the Marines to respond with a massive offensive to punish the perpetrators, despite all the lacrimal pleas from Lt Gen. Mattis not to engage in this direction in order to shield the fragile but extremely important progress made in winning the heart of the Iraqi common folks. But the administration wouldn't budge: Rummy, Dick and Bush wanted their CNN time – or their Al Jazeerah time, for that matter.

The first “Battle of Fallujah”, in Spring 2003, was, as we all know, a complete disaster. And for a while, the troops of Muqtad al Sadr, the son of a Shiite cleric, were perfectly in control of the town.

This is the time, I believe, according to Woodward (remember, i still have to read the book, but this makes logic to me) that Henri Kissinger started to come more often to the White House to advise the Bushies.

And this, is my theory: I strongly believe that this sudden change of course in Iraq, in the Spring of 2003, this departure from the succesful new strategy of winning the Iraqi hearts, despite all the progress made by the Corps, was all engineered by Henri Kissinger.

Even the craziest of neo-cons will never be as hawkish toward Iran than this old man. And, if history has taught us anything about this man, as the Nixon episode in Vietnam has showed, when it comes to foreign policies, Henri Kissinger is a Karl Rove on cocaine.

But Kissinger is not quite a Neo-cons, because these guys have proved to be too amateurish as to never back their war plans with a solid strategy. Henri Kissinger has a solid a for Iran alright, a recipe that would shame Chef Jacques Pepin himself:

1,let Iraq slip to a civil war.
2,Encourage a civil war by not looking like you do.
(The trick: don't be afraid to look a bit incompetent for a while. )
3,When the bloodshed between Sunni and Shiites reaches the Armageddon scale, the time will become ripped to launch an all out war on the Mollahs... and all the Sunnites will praise the Americans and will be more than eager to be cast as the bulk of the next “coalition of the willing”.

What the hell you guys think Condi was doing last week in the Middle-East, taking pulses?

Trust me boys and girls: the civil war in Iraq can be stopped tomorrow.
The American military has the power to do this. “Fiasco” tells us, for example, that the second battle of Fallujah, in the fall of 2003, was a major victory for the Marines. Ricks's book even illustrates this episode, but citing the successful role of new kind of weapons, designed exclusively for urban warfare: incendiary bombs that are engineered to burn many rooms at one time, sucking all the oxygen out of a building in an instant, in order to do the bulk of the killing before American troops enter the building.

But, at the end of the second and very successful battle of Fallujah, the most historically spectacular shit happened: In the most amazing way to waste American blood and tax dollars, and, furthermore, in the most outrageous way to insult the young Marines who fell that week, the Bush administration came, fucking around once again with the Corps:
The White House ordered the Marines to back up and to give back Fallujah to Moqtad al Sadr's militia; who, all of a sudden, were dancing and screaming their victory in the middle of the streets, before the disgusted sobbing of our young POWs.

Since then, no major offensive. Only a couple of insignificant ones. it looks like the “strategy” for the American troops is to remain on some sort of idle mode. But I know in my gut that it is the very stinking breath of Henri Kissinger that has advised the Bush administration to leave Moqtad al Sadr free to rebuild his militia (they are now said to be counted at about 45 000 or more). Because they are to be cast in the very important next step in the Iraqi civil war again the Sunni. The goal is to let the Shiites becoming strong enough in the region as to get Saudi Arabia and all the rest of the Arab world (in majority Sunni) begging on their knees the White House to hit hard at the source of the Shiite strength: Tehran.

That's where I come to the conclusion that, sure, Woodward's book may not be the book, like a eloquent “Di Vinci Code” on the Bush administration's hidden agenda. But puzzle together Clark, Ricks and Woodward's works together and one can see a whole new – and frightening – picture appearing inside the crystal ball; in which Dick Cheney is now re-leagued to play a pathetic Saruman, while the real evil – and immortal! - spirit of Sauron is now impersonated by no one else but the sinister old Henri Kissinger...


benmerc said...

Dante lee,

I agree about Henry K and his gradual presence in the Bush Whitehouse and the dispense of his strategy/tactical advice. I think you are much more into and knowledgeable of these military/geo-political strategies then I am, you seem very well informed. But from what I can see, there appears to be layers of action and realities in American efforts now and historically when it comes down to exactly what we are doing, the why and how of it all. I think barring the usual dysfunction that occurs between the administrative ex branch and military powers, I also believe there is usually subterfuge of some sort as far as what we are really doing in any given theatre. Certainly as to what they typically tell the public.

What I mean concerning Iraq would be that, I go along with the hearts and mind tactics, and other tactics you have mentioned, and the problems they have encountered. But even if we are not winning, or if it seems at times that there really is no leads me to the conclusion (and I know Len, and maybe you also have stated) that we do not seek full victory, but just a partial control in that the rational need for permanent long term bases would be established in Iraq. Truly one of the end games in maintaining control of that region. I first heard that theory from Miller a few years ago, and I am sure he got it straight from the con's PNAC papers and playbooks.

Nevertheless, I always enjoy your takes and the info you dig up or some how cobble together, you certainly do your research, so I pay attention to your diatribes, I usually learn something new, unfortunately it is typically not good news. But that all goes with the territory of the times we live in. I have always despised HK, thought him to be the most despicable type of academic, if in fact you call what he engages in as such. I will try to get the Ricks book, it sounds good, have heard a few other sound bites about it…Also I should run my jaw a bit slower till I actually READ Woodward’s book, I will be in contention for a job at Fox if I continue engaging this sort method in my lame jabs at punditry.

Sebastien Parmentier said...

Ben, please! Don't compare yourself with a Fox pundit! Your take on Woodward's latest work (about the timing and all) was absolutely well taken. Never confuse my enthusiam with aggressiveness: By your skepticism, you have actually helped me having an "Eureka" moment by thinking about the whole thing, by puzzling these latest books together, and come up with a theory that seems to me to actually stand up.

By watching too much TV you have perhaps forgotten that there remain places, like here at the "cowboy", where friends can disagree in a way that tickles the mind agreably. Think of it as just a good front-porch experience thing. Now, if it's alright with you, let's pop another cag...

Anonymous said...

Dante Lee, please keep up with this terrific commentary. Very informative. Many thanks. "Can I have more please, sir?"

Sebastien Parmentier said...

Thank you Fuzz. I knew i wasn't craz... well, i knew I wasn't the only one who picked up one of those strange hairs laying on the Iraqi sand, and concluding that it looks madly like it has dropped from Kissinger's fur. "Fiasco" is indeed among the most devastating stuff on Bush's lack strategy for Iraq (him the the whole crew). But, by reading the many analysis from all these lucky bastards who already had the chance to peep inside a few pages of Woodward's latest bomb, I think the book has definately something. My local right-wing-corporate-ass Borders is playing the game of late shipment and huge demand to push back the time their employees will finally load up the shelves with the damn thing... Probably hoping that most of us can't finish up 400 and something pages in less than five weeks....

Sebastien Parmentier said...

Thank you as well Damien. But I want you all to know that my posting will still be sporadic for a week or two more. (I miss posting toons cruely!) I did not have a chance yet to get my processor yet. It just happened that today, a friend of mine let me have his laptop for the day... The way I look at it: less time on the computer means more time to finish up reading my sources.

Anonymous said...

By the way, did you notice that on 10 April 2006 a Washington Post article by Thomas E. Ricks pointed out that a specific US military propaganda program was in place in regard to al Zarqawi, a program which also targetted Western domestic audiences? The article described how the Pentagon had concocted fake Zarqawi letters boasting about suicide attacks and then leaked them to Dexter Filkins of the New York Times who published one of the letters despite having every reason to believe it was a fraud. All of this was done specifically to ramp up the importance of Zarqawi and to publicly tie the war in Iraq to al-Qaeda and 9/11. Ricks is good.

In terms of the lie de jour I am enjoying Gordon Prather debunk the lie that Iran has a well developed nuclear arms program and is producing multiple breeches of the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty. All completely untrue, of course, and Prather has his work cut out for him if he wishes to overcome the Bolton-MSM effort. His archives section on Iran (to the right of his web article) is terrific stuff (eg 1 , 2 ).

Speaking of WMDs, whenever I get talking with people who tell me Iran poses a WMD threat and how simple it is to identify the good guys from the bad guys I just point them to this. LOL. If they understand that diagram then they would know at once that almost everything coming out of the mouths of the Bush cabal is total crap. You could safely assume that the opposite of what they say on WMDs. Related to this is all the stuff on Valerie Plame and WMD hunting which is also very interesting, if complex.

North Korea's next on the hit list. Again, Prather is gold.

Not that I remember any of this stuff. But it beats the hell out of listening to the other guys.

Anonymous said...

Jeb Bush quote: The truth is useless. You have to understand this right now. You can't deposit the truth in a bank. You can't buy groceries with the truth. You can't pay rent with the truth. The truth is a useless commodity that will hang around your neck like an albatross all the way to the homeless shelter. And if you think that the million or so people in this country that are really interested in the truth about their government can support people who would tell them the truth, you got another thing coming. Because the million or so people in this country that are truly interested in the truth don't have any money.

Way to go Jebbie! You will be remembered for this, sunshine. Like all truly ignorant people you will go to your deathbed believing your own lies. So much of the real riches of this life, of joy, innocence and truthfulness you will have missed. You will die as you have lived - poor.

benmerc said...

anonymous...Where did you find that jeb! quote? That has got to be the foulest bit of belief I have heard in some time, these people really are hollow from the inside out, gutless wonders.

dante lee...well I was being somewhat factitious, but point being, no matter your ideological view you must still do the homework. So I really need to read the book and not rely on a "60 min" interview. I will read it at some point, but I have slogged through so many lately, it is hard to keep up. And as you know the follow up to reading a book is doing your own post read research on anything that seems controversial know the drill.